Nicola Vincent-Abnett

Nicola Vincent-Abnett
"Savant" for Solaris, Wild's End, Further Associates of Sherlock Holms, more Wild's End

Wednesday 22 May 2013

Kids, Drunks and Pissed Off People...

... are the only ones who are honest... 

Don’t you just hate it when you only have half of the information you want and you can’t track down the other half?

As a general rule, my blogs are not planned, but if I have a thought out of context that might make a decent blog, I am sensible enough to make a note of it. That’s what I did in this instance. I jotted down a note, but not an attribution, and now I can’t attribute the quote that isn’t a quote because it’s really only a summary.

I didn’t think it’d be difficult to find the information later, but some silly sod misquoted or summarised as a FaceBook status update, which spread like wildfire, and now that’s all I can find.


Anyway, this is how it goes, and you’ll just have to trust that I did see this, and that I am reporting it conversationally, and that I’m going to give you my opinion on it, as I always do.

You’ll have to trust that I’m being honest, and, since this is a blog about honesty, I hope that will suffice.

The quote I saw, and I’m paraphrasing, of course... The quote I saw said that kids, drunks and pissed off people are the only ones who are truly honest.

I had one of those moments... one of my many moments when I wanted to throw my hands up in horror and scream at the World.

Do people really live like this? Is this the sort of universal truth whereby someone feels they can say this with impunity, that an audience, any audience will nod along sagely as if this is the accepted norm.

Oh good grief!

Look at that again. Think about it.

To be honest in the World and the society we live in, we have to be out of control of our emotions, we have to suspend our good judgement and we have to cast aside the social niceties.


I have a number of issues with that.

Firstly, I can’t believe it isn’t possible to be honest and still be able to moderate my language, maintain my composure and appear entirely reasonable while making my point.

Secondly, I don’t believe the World or the people in it are so fragile that they can’t handle my version of the truth, or even agree with it.

Thirdly, while I might be in a minority, when did the World become so cynical and why? And what is the good of us all shutting up and not speaking the truth when we might all be thinking the very same thing?

On the other hand, there’s nothing wrong with being a kid, and there’s nothing wrong with talking like a kid. Kids get a bad press. They get a bad press, mostly because adults are doing a crappy job of raising them. Kids are going to school in nappies because their parents aren’t toilet training them. Kids are screaming their heads off in restaurants, upsetting other diners, because they haven’t been taught not to. Kids are running riot in shops because their parents can’t be bothered to keep a tighter rein on them. None of that is the kids’ fault. Kids tell the truth, but they also learn to lie pretty young, and the first lies they tell are hilariously funny.

There isn’t much wrong with angry people, either. Bill Hicks was angry and he had plenty of useful stuff to say. Stewart Lee is angry, and probably my favourite comedian, the most politically aware, the man with the conscience. I can’t help thinking it’s time some of our right thinking, left wing politicians got angry and started telling the truth, for crying out loud.

Of course, our politicians should always have told the truth.

Like everyone else, I’ve been afraid of the truth from time to time, but I always do my best to gird my loins and say what I think. My mother used to tell us kids to tell the truth and shame the devil. I can’t help thinking that she might have had a point. 


  1. firstly, I'm not convinced kids are all that honest. not to say that they can't be, but more that when they lie they tend to get carried away and it (usually) becomes pretty obvious.

    secondly, I'm not convinced drunks are that honest. they sure can be, and might have a lowered inhibition leading to unintended honesty. but as many females can tell you, at "take home time" (also known as last call, but by no means a monopoly on lies), some whoppers come out, and I'm not talking meat (take that how you will, ho ho).

    thirdly, I've heard some complete bullshit from pissed off people. some are so angry and irrational that "winning" becomes more important than any factual basis, or even grounding in reality (as we know it, Nik!). although I can understand the frustration that comes from the obvious truth obsfuscated or bouncing off thick skulls.

    but I will say this, and it's something I've learned from experience ... the more you tell the truth, the easier it gets to tell the truth and more liberating it feels. plus when you're proven honest more and more often, it takes less effort to get people to believe the truth.

    lying on the other hand, might get easier, but the bigger the lie, the more akin it is to setting up an incendiary grenade with a tripwire. more lies, more tripwires. if your memory isn't up to it, it's just a matter of time before you trip up and someone goes "what's that burning smell?". as with honesty, you can easily get a reputation for talking shit, it can reinforce itself, not unlike the boy who cried wolf.

    for me, it all comes down to trust (and consistency). once lost, it's very hard to find again. but the truth can build a very strong trust. I find that people who are untrustworthy reveal themselves because they expect others to pull the same kinda shit they would, worse still when compounded by delusion.

    of course being truthful doesn't mean you have to be lacking in tact. plus you start to realise that some people don't really want the truth, or won't accept it even if it's given. I think that in the end, honesty is self-bumcovering ...

    ♫ plus it's not worth losing trust, when you can just keep your mouth shut! ♫

    needless to say (but hey, I'll do it anyway!), I've chosen to remove some "good" friends from my life because they lied to my face once too often. I often won't call people out on their unsuccessful lies either. it suits me more to let them think they've succeeded ... *cackle*

  2. You’ll have to trust that I’m being honest, and, since this is a blog about honesty, I hope that will suffice.

    You can trust me because I tell you you can trust me?

    Are you going into politics?

    1. I realised the irony as I was writing it... and then left it in for my own amusement. I knew someone would pick me up on it. Smiles.

      Can you even begin to imagine me in politics? I can't keep a consistent point of view from one day to the next; I can't keep a straight face. I can't tell a convincing lie, or remember what it was; and I can't keep my emotions in check. I'd lose my deposit so often I'd be bankrupt in no time.

    2. I used to think that you needed to be polished and packaged to really get somewhere. Then I helped a 19-year-old who believed in social justice and an end to the politics of division secure 19.37% of the vote.

      I feel politics needs more people who believe too much to be able to lie about it. People who are not masks for an anodyne, focus-group tested, safe on delicate skin, message.

      So yes, I can imagine you in politics. You might not win but you would certainly be able to raise the profile of your issues.

      Or you could use your skills to help another passionate person give amazing speeches.

  3. Great article Nicola,
    I was on the way back from The Horus heresy weekender when I noticed that the train had a poster advertising films to rent from Lovefilm with the words 'Stay Safe,Stay In' written in a warning box at the bottom of the poster.

    I did not realize that society had got to a point where we now prayed on people's fears of a failing society to help sell a product!

    I get the impression that the Government is going over the top to create a feeling of fear and oppression simply so they can put up more CCTV Camera's and continue to change laws restricting our freedom's except they pass them off as 'anti-terror' laws.

    That someone could put out a statement saying drunks,kids and angry people don't lie is an absurdity.
    Don't most alcoholics and drug user's hide the fact of their addiction's?
    I know I did when I was younger and had a cannabis problem. It was not until it affected my studies that I could even admit to myself it was becoming a problem let alone anyone else.

    As far as my experience with children goes, it seems like the majority have more sway over decision making then their slack jawed parents who let them run around supermarkets with impunity.
    Even seeming to encourage it as in one situation I overheard at work where a mother told her children 'keep running around because if that display stand falls on you we can sue this place' so I doubt truth and honesty goes a long way into their upbringing.

    Makes me wonder why people don't engage their brain before posting these Facebook 'updates'!

  4. I think it is about awareness. Baby goats are not aware of the consequences of their truths (I, as a child, told my mother she wasn't beautiful, she was ordinary), and similarly drunks are not aware of what they are saying so lose the weight that their blunt and offensives slurs can cause. I think pissed-off people are aware, they just don't care. However, this is all a small part of the larger web of deception - all will lie if they know that their truth will land them in trouble. I don't think it makes sober and placated adults any less reliable, but we all have a predilection for spinning a yarn, don't we?

    I, for one, have super powers.